Luke Walton Must Introduce the Los Angeles Lakers to Modern NBA Basketball

The Los Angeles Lakers are at rock bottom but believe they’ve found the coach who can shepherd them back into title contention. 

In what’s far and away the most sensible, comfortable move it could’ve made, Los Angeles replaced Byron Scott with Golden State Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton on Friday night.

The 36-year-old was the only candidate L.A. actually interviewed, per's Ramona Shelburne, which speaks to the NBA’s problematic head coach selection process—something similar to the NFL’s Rooney Rule would be nice—but, nonetheless, it looks like a home run hire. 

Walton, who received three votes for Coach of the Year after leading the Warriors to an NBA-record 24-0 start (in Steve Kerr's absence, who was out due to medical reasons), can brush cobwebs off an organization that’s long refused to abandon the defunct philosophy that bred so much success in the past.

In a way, Lady Luck kissed the Lakers once again; the timing of it all couldn’t be more perfect: The most sought-after candidate in years—who just so happens to already have strong ties to L.A.—ascends just as the Lakers can’t plunge any further. 

Yes, Walton has minimal experience calling the shots. His all-time record technically stands at 0-0. But he understands the game and knows how to communicate with people.

“Players expect honesty, and as long as we have a relationship and they feel that I'm not trying to get anything over on them, I can be laid-back, and then I can still pull them aside and tell them that they're messing up, that they need to do something better. They respect it, and they respond to it,” Walton told the Bay Area News Group's Diamond Leung when he was Golden State’s interim head coach earlier this year.

“The guys know that...if I see laziness happening or we're...

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